Miami Herald Jessie Criticism

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The following appeared in The Miami Herald. The citation is Pitts, Leonard (1995-08-05). "JONNY QUEST'S NEW 'ICKY FEMALE' PROVES PC HAS GONE WAY TOO FAR". The Miami Herald p. 1G.

I'm so scared of women it's pathetic.

No, not socially or sexually, wise guy. I can even deal with it when they give one another those knowing smiles that make it seem as if the wisdom of the universe is to be found in the possession of estrogen.

I am scared of women as a class. Specifically, a class of aggrieved human beings who have been made so by the wooden- headed insensitivity of the class to which I belong. Meaning, of course, the guy class.

I want to do the right thing. Want women to think of me as an enlightened guy who feels their pain, the kind with whom they might join hands and sing Kum-Ba-Yah down by the lake.

Which is why I'm terrified of putting my size 11's down my throat and inadvertently saying something sexist. Not "Hey, sweet cheeks, want some fries to go with that shake?" You'd have to be an Oregon senator to be that dumb.

I obsess over more subtle faux pas. Like, what if a woman is telling me about some tough cop's heroism, and I say, "Wow, I'd really like to meet that guy," and then her eyes grow ice as she explains that the "guy" is named Wanda. That sort of thing.

The fear is that, as much as I flatter myself that I'm enlightened, I will say the wrong thing and prove the opposite. Suddenly, I morph into a four-legged creature with a curlicue on his butt and an urge to belly-flop in the mud.

You might take this as proof we've all become entirely too touchy and serious.

Or you might take it as proof that yours truly requires an emergency backbone implant.

There's an argument to be made for both. But frankly, I'm more concerned with how this impacts upon Jonny Quest and me.

If you're a guy -- and, yes, even if you're not -- you may well have fond memories of JQ. He was the star of an adventuresome late '60s cartoon series that told the story of four guys: pre-teen Jonny, his scientist father, Dr. Benton Quest, his friend Hadji and ex-secret agent Race Bannon. Together they traveled the world righting wrongs and bringing to justice bad guys who always seemed to hide out in caves and fly around in way-cool hovercraft.

Jonny is coming back in the fall of '96 in an updated series from TBS. Part of the update is that the team now includes a girl -- Race's daughter, Jessie.

The July 29 issue of TV Guide disses the new kid pretty hard, saying in part, "Jonny & Co. have always gotten along just fine without any icky females."

I think it was meant to be funny.

Personally, I would never be brave (or suicidal) enough to put it that way. But I agree with the basic sentiment. As much as little girls -- and boys -- need strong female role models in their lives, I grow weary of the never-ending effort to rewrite the past to conform to the socio-political mandates of the present.

Did you see the last Huck Finn movie, wherein a very PC Jim seemed more a scholar than a slave? That's a prime example of what I mean.

According to a completely unscientific survey I just conducted, most women know little and care less about Jonny Quest. Not surprising. It was always a guy thing.

And while I have no problem at all with rock-'em-sock-'em women, I resent the implication that there was something incomplete about the guy-ness of Jonny Quest that required a girl to fix. Did the simple absence of a girl in that closed circle constitute injurious sexism? And if so, what's next? Clint Eastwood and Gene Hackman in a remake of Beaches ? Michael Bolton joining the Temptations? This is PC -- pretty crazy -- run amok.

That's the way I see it, and if any woman out there has a problem with it, I've only got one thing to say:

. . . please don't hurt me.

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